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Physical Wellness

How to Boost Your Immune System This Crazy Flu (and COVID-19) Season

Winter is the time of warm foods and blankets. But it is not free from danger. The flu virus runs rampant every winter, taking lives and destroying the health of many. To stay safe and unaffected by this widespread virus, you have to understand how to boost your immune system.

Your immune system is your body’s defense mechanism, fighting pathogens and staying on alert 24/7. It is responsible for keeping you free of diseases and is an enormous and complex system spread throughout your body. So, let’s dig right in on how to upgrade your defenses.

How to Boost Your Immune System: A Healthy Diet Plan

You may consider the flu shot, or the COVID-19 vaccine, especially if you are in a high-risk group. But you can also feed your body foods that will give it tons of energy. Your immune system is highly dependent on nutrition. So it is essential to consume a healthy and nutritious diet for your immune system to work correctly.

There are several easy-to-follow ways you can boost your immune system with food without inconveniencing yourself. A healthy diet plan is a mix of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fiber-rich foods. Adequate intake of water also goes hand-in-hand with a healthy diet.

Happy woman having bowl of salad while listening to music in kitchen. Eating healthy food is a good way on how to boost your immune system.
A Healthy Diet Plan Can Help Boost Immunity (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Your gut is the house of metabolism regulation. It helps control your weight, digest food, absorb nutrients, provide energy, and improve your immunity. So if you want to know how to boost your immune system, begin with your gut.

Avoid consuming processed foods, at least as much as you can. High sugar and fat intake make your body sluggish and slow. This lowers your immunity and opens the gate for all kinds of viruses to attack. Also, if your body does not hold sufficient antioxidants reserves, it cannot effectively fight these invaders. This can possibly lead to sickness.

Add almonds, yogurt, citrus fruits, bell peppers, blueberries, ginger, garlic, and spinach to your healthy diet plan. Replace sodas and coffee with green tea, fresh fruit juices, and protein shakes.

Top 10 Foods to Boost Your Immune System (and Kill Viruses)

If you fear you’re not getting everything you need from your diet, try vitamin supplements. For instance, vitamin D supplements have tons of benefits for your body, such as improved bone strength and stronger resistance against several diseases. The best zinc supplement can help your immune system and potentially improve the speed of wound healing to prevent infections.

During the cold and flu season, your body needs warmth to carry out its functions. So you should make sure to eat winter foods such as soups and pasta to keep your body temperature regular.

Set an Exercise Routine

A weak immune system needs good nutrition and plenty of exercise. If you stop exercising in the cold and flu season, then your immunity will significantly drop. This is one reason you are more prone to get sick in winters.

Exercising regularly is a lifestyle change that will improve your physical and mental health. Don’t be tempted to stay inside when the temperature drops. Working out outside is a foolproof way of boosting your immunity.

Healthy young couple doing exercises with dumbbells at home. Fit young woman with man doing weights workout indoors in living room.
Set an Exercise Routine (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Due to the intense cold, your heart and body have to work harder to maintain normal body temperature. So if you train out in the winter chill, your body will be much more active and ready to fight any unwanted pathogens and related symptoms. You’re also more likely to burn more calories, potentially preventing any fat from accumulating in your body.

But that’s easier said than done. It can be tough to leave your electric heater to exercise outside. If you don’t want to work out in the freezing weather, you can always move around in your house. According to experts, frequent yet purposeful movements, like walking around the house for a few minutes, can help boost immunity and keep you feeling fit.

Add some intense workouts to your routine, and you’ll be good to go. Sitting for prolonged periods can lower your body’s immunity defenses and make you more susceptible to illness. You must increase your physical activity if you want to avoid becoming sick.

Couple exercising together. Man and woman in sports wear doing workout at home.
Exercising Regularly Can Improve Your Physical and Mental Health (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Part of understanding how to strengthen your immune system is learning and trying intense yet easy-to-do exercises every day. Remember, consistency is far more important than intensity when it comes to staying fit. Instead of burning yourself out on day one, start small, do it regularly, and gradually improve your exercise routine.

Exercising can help you sleep and feel better, too, both of which are essential for your body to work actively. It’s also great for controlling stress.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy immunity-boosting home workout, here is a twelve-minute YouTube video that you can use.

Exercises to Boost Immune System

The Importance of Sleep

Sleeping is your body’s way of rebuilding itself. While you sleep, your brain collects data and issues commands for support groups where needed. Lack of sleep can make you sick.

Sleep strengthens immune memory. It helps your body retain the methods of defense against certain viruses for longer periods. This is how your body becomes better equipped at recognizing a pathogen and remembering how to fight it.

All other activities, such as breathing, slow down during sleep, and maximum attention is given to your immune system to fortify, check, and regulate its defenses. Vaccines help more if you sleep well after getting one. Your body gets sufficient time to focus on the weakened pathogen in the vaccine, understand it better, and formulate a way to combat it.

woman happy on bed smiling and getting ready to sleep.
Sleeping is Your Body’s Way of Rebuilding Itself (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Stress hormones can make it harder for your immune system to work by disturbing the activity of the guardian cells, better known as T cells. So the importance of sleep doesn’t end at improving immune memory. It extends to lowering stress hormone levels in your body.

A balanced sleeping routine will improve your immune system tremendously. But sleeping for too long or too little can negatively affect it. A balanced sleep is essential. There is a direct relationship between the amount of sleep you need and your age. But the average rounds out at seven hours for most adults. Children and newborns need more sleep, as their immune system is not yet fully formed.

Conclusion

The cold and flu season scares many people due to the increased risk of diseases. But all you need to protect yourself in the cold weather is:

  • a sufficiently nutritious diet plan,
  • a proper exercise routine, and 
  • an adequate amount of sleep.

These are a few ways to boost your immune system and enable your body to effectively fight off potential invaders.

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